Thursday, October 31, 2013

Where's My Mummy?

My kiddos have really enjoy retelling the stories that we read.  The first story we retold was Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson  I modeled retelling this story for the class.  The next day we retold Where's My Mummy?.

I bought this retelling pack on Teachers Pay Teachers from Chalk Talk.

As you can see my kiddos were new to retelling and need some guidance as we went along.  So on Halloween we retold There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat. We did much better.

After we sequenced the story we check the story to see if were correct.  We had an awesome discussion about how both of these retellings were correct.  Some students put the Old Lady first because they saw here as swallowing everything.  Others said they put the Old Lady at the end because it looked like she was yelling all the Halloween stuff out.

I love that all of these activities were cooperative learning and active learning activities. Our school improvement goal is using active learning to engage our male learners.

You can get a copy of the There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat retelling cards here.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

H A double L O W double E N

Can you believe that it is the end of October?? Where is the fall going?? 

We are dedicating all of tomorrow afternoon to Halloween activities. Here are a couple of the things that we are going to do.

Position Words
My coworker came up with this adorable activity and said I could share.  Click on the picture to download.

Candy Corn Relay Race

Designate a starting line and a finish line. Set out a bowl full of candy corn for each player at the starting line and an empty bowl at the finish line. The players must use a large spoon to scoop candy corn out of the full bowl and then carry it to the empty bowl and fill it. They cannot spill any candy corn or use their hands! If any candy corn falls off the spoon, they must immediately pick it up and bring it back to the starting line bowl and start over with that scoopful.


My kids are loving read alouds this year.  We read Geronimo Stilton every afternoon before we go home.  Here is the one we read in October.

Witches Brew
   Ingredients: popcorn kernels, pretzels, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, raisins, goldfish.
   Directions: Count out 10 of each of the following and add them to your bag; pretzels, marshmallows, chocolate chips, raisins, goldfish.  Count out 15 popcorn kernels and add those to your bag. Zip your bag closed and shake well.

Spider Hats
For one hat…
Cut eight stripes of black paper 1 ½inches by 9 inches. Cut one strip of black paper 2 inches by 22 inches. Cut 2 large black circle, 2 medium orange circle, and 2 small black circles.

Glue orange circle to edge of large black circle. Glue small black circle to edge of orange circle. Measure the 22 inch piece around child’s head, overlap and glue ends together. Glue the eyes to the hat band with black eyes touching. Fold the leg strips in half. Fold one end of each leg strip back 1 inch. Glue the straight end to the inside edge of the hat band. Fold and glue the remaining legs. You will have four legs on each side. 

Spider Candy Holder (click on the picture for directions)

Paint Chip Halloween Characters (click on the picture for directions)

Happy Halloween!!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin Pumpkin

On Monday we went to the pumpkin patch and boy did we have fun.  We go to meet these lovely animals.  I have to say the pigs were my favorite.

We also learned about sweet potatoes and went on a hay ride.  The best part was getting to pick out a pumpkin.  We brought our pumpkin back to school and carved it into a Jack O Lantern.  And what a better time to learn about pumpkin parts.

You can download a copy of the brace map here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Great Pumpkin Investigation

This is one of the very first experiments I do with my kiddos every year.  And they love it.

Our goal is to see which pumpkin will decompose quicker the one carved like a Jack-O-Lantern or the one that is kept whole.  We begin our investigation by reading The Pumpkin Circle and Pumpkin Jack.

Then students make predictions about which one they think will decompose first. Then we carve one of the pumpkins.  When we are done I put both pumpkins in large glass jars (these are from Target).  I can't stand the smell of rotting pumpkins, yuck!

We make sure to record all of our observations in our investigation books.  Then we wait...

Friday, October 11, 2013

What do Mr. Potato Head and Writing have in common?

The answer to this would be details, details, details.  For the past couple of weeks we have been talking about adding details to our writing.  We have done many lessons from Katie Wood Rays book In Pictures and In Words.  This lesson was adopted from Toying with Writing by Nancy Herta. She has some awesome ideas for teaching writing. All of her lessons have a toy that help kids remember the skill.

We started with a very plain potato and talked about what details we could add.

They started by wanting to add feet.  I let them choose what pair of feet they wanted to add.

Then they added a hat and eyes.

In the end we added a mouth and some arms.

We made a couple of other Mr./Mrs. Potato Heads.

When we were done we talked about when we draw pictures of people we need to make sure we draw eyes, hands, a mouth, feet and clothing. This lesson really stuck.  So many kiddos were drawing people with tons of details. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Living or Nonliving

Today in science we talked about things that are living or nonliving.

We started off by reading What's Alive?

My kiddos loved this video and used Cookie Monster's anchor chart to decide if things are living and nonliving.

If it wasn't raining I was planning on doing the worm and rock experiment from...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Apples Galore!

This past week we wrapped up our unit on Apples.  I do have to say that my kiddos had soo much fun.  Here are some of the things we did.

Apple Research. We researched apples by reading about them on Pebble Go.  They have some great articles about a variety of topics.  And the bonus is that it is kid friendly.

Apple Circle Map

We made these cute apple from Vickie's Apples Aplenty Unit on TpT.

Emergent Reader: Apple Picking

We wrapped up our unit on apples by doing an apple tasting.  This was by far my kiddos favorite. The graph is from Sarah Cooley on TpT.

What fun apple things are you doing?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Home Away from Home!

I don't know about you but my classroom is my home.  Most weeks I spend more time there than I do at my own home.  Here are some pictures of my "home away from home".

My word wall and book boxes.

Computers and some books. The green chair next to the book case is the Question Chair.  During small group time if students have a question they sit in the Question Chair and wait patiently until I can answer their question.

My small group area. In the right hand corner you can see part of my classroom library.

This is my reading corner.  As you can see not all of my books are here...

Here is my corner.  I opted not to have a desk, instead I have a long rectangular table. It gives me so much more room.  The letter trays that you see front and center are where students keep their writing folders and math journals.

Circle Area.

Math Independent Time Buckets.

What your favorite part of your "Home Away From Home"?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Towers Game

This week we have been working on counting to answer how many (common core standard K.CC.4).  They have been loving all the fun counting games.  Here is their favorite so far. (Even before they got to play the game they were asking if I was going to add it to the math partner games)  It is called the Towers Game.  You need a game board, a die, linking cubes and a partner.  Partner 1 rolls the dice and builds a tower that many cubes high.  Then they place it on the correct number. Partner 2 then rolls the dice and builds a tower that many cubes high.  He also places it on the correct number on the game board.  The game is over when all the spaces are filled.

You can get a free copy of the game here.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Read for the Record-Oct. 3

This year the Read for the Record book is Otis by Loren Long.  In the story Otis is a special tractor. He loves his farmer and he loves to work. And he loves the little calf in the next stall, whom he purrs to sleep with his soft motor. In fact, the two become great friends: they play in the fields, leap hay bales, and play ring-around-the-rosy by Mud Pond. But when Otis is replaced with the big yellow tractor, he is cast away behind the barn, unused, unnoticed . . . until the little calf gets stuck in Mud Pond. Then there is only one tractor—and it’s not big or yellow—who can come to the rescue. It is little old Otis who saves his friend. It is Otis who saves the day. (synopsis taken from the back of the book)

My team and I have been busy planning for this special day.  At my school we turn Read for the Record into a whole day event.  Here are some of the activities we have planned so far.

Tractor Cut and Paste.  You can get the free cut outs here.

Barn Yard Labeling.  There are so many different things to label in this picture we decided to make stickers of the words so  that students could just stick the word next to the picture. Then they can color.  Grab a copy of the barn yard labeling activity here and the stickers here. Print the stickers on return address labels.  Note that when printing the barn yard you need to print it on 11x17 paper.

We are also having our wonderful room moms make us tractor sugar cookies that the kids can decorate.  We are going to use Oreo's for the tires and red icing for the tractor.  You can get the cookie cutters from The Cookie Cutter Company. They have tons of different designs for a very low prices.

For more information about Read for the Record visit there site.